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Samsung Bioepis collaborates to make inroads into original drugs

Published on 21/08/17 at 10:12am

Thus far, Samsung Bioepis has made its name by being a thorn in the side of the producers of original drugs. It has become a world leader in producing biosimilars, already gaining approval for a biosimilar to J&J’s Remicade whilst having decisions pending on several others. Now, it has formed a partnership with Takeda to begin the search for its own product to launch onto the market.

The announcement of the collaboration between the two companies suggested that the companies would look to develop treatments in “unmet disease areas”. The release of information on the deal particularly referenced that the two companies would work on a therapeutic candidate, TAK-671, a potential treatment for severe acute pancreatitis.

“Takeda’s extensive knowledge and expertise in drug development makes the company an ideal partner for us as we open a new chapter at Samsung Bioepis,” said Christopher Hansung Ko, President and CEO, Samsung Bioepis. “Five years ago, we entered the biopharmaceutical industry with a strong determination to transform the way therapies are brought to patients by replacing legacy processes with new and innovative ones. Together with Takeda, we look forward to realising this vision by accelerating the development of effective therapies for patients who are currently without a viable treatment option.”

The deal makes sense for both companies, with Samsung Bioepis, as suggested by Hansung Ko, always planning on moving onto producing its own drugs and with Takeda’s pipeline particularly dry, it may allow them to bolster this with a developing company, such as Samsung Bioepis.

As part of the release, it was revealed that the latter company will be involved in development through its biologics development platforms, while the rest of the details of the agreement were not released.

As the first treatment is within severe acute pancreatitis, if the development is successful, the candidate would fit nicely into Takeda’s focus on gastrointestinal treatment. Of course, having a candidate does not mean any certainties of success and Samsung Bioepis will have to face the inevitable difficulties that come from unsuccessful trials now that it is moving into the original drug space.

It is reported that Samsung Bioepis is continuing to look for further partners in the drug development space.

Ben Hargreaves

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